...because home doesn't happen overnight.

This past summer I visited my sister in Arlington, VA. She took me to the local flea market where we stumbled upon the photography of Steven L. Miller {no relation} and I was immediately smitten. Mr. Miller himself was genuine and sweet and his work was no different. Even in black & white, his work captures humanity in a way that speaks to me. It must speak to others as well because several of his pieces are included in a permanent collection at The Smithsonian Museum. Half-jokingly, I hinted at my sister to remember Mr. Miller’s photographs the next time my birthday rolled around. She did!

generations photo 1

She gifted me “Generations” and my heart exploded into a million tiny pieces. I used birthday money and a JoAnn’s coupon to have the piece custom framed in narrow gold metal. For the longest time, I have been hemming and hawing over what to hang in a corner of our living room but the moment I received the photgraph I knew it was the one. I was so excited to pick it up from the framer yesterday!

generations photo 3

I hung it above the media cabinet in our living room. {TV wall sneak peek!} I adore it. Mr. Miller signed the piece and wrote a note to me on the back stating that the photograph was taken at a gas station in Tucson, AZ. I imagine the man is a hardworking truck driver and was meeting his grandbaby for the first time when this photo was taken. I like to make up stories like that.

generations photo 4

My brother-in-law went with my sister to purchase the photograph for my birthday and at first sight he was creeped out by the man’s dirty, wrinkled hands. But in the time it took them to walk home, he was starting to “get it” and his feelings towards the piece completely softened.

“Just look at how happy he is!” my sister told her husband.

I can’t help but smile every time I look at the photograph.

generations photo 2

The corner vignette includes a stack of books topped with potted jade. The rock was the very first “gift” from my first child, Layne. He had just started walking and we were at the park. He waddled over to me and handed me this rock. I’ll never forget it. The task lamp is Nate Berkus for Target. The stone “X” and wood bowl were thrift store finds years ago. I want my kids to gift me more rocks to fill up the bowl! The roe deer antlers are faux. They are part of a trio that I recently purchased from One Kings Lane. I haven’t found a home for the other two yet.

generations photo 5

generations photo 6

All of a sudden this once troublesome corner feels really special.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



I have that very same photo:-) I got it at DC’s Eastern Market. Mr Miller is awesome!



Though I can’t join in the antler love, even faux, the rest is serene. That photo is remarkable; the hands and face bookending that baby capture the circle of life movingly. Yeah, sisters! (My college-student daughter’s first of many collections began with a rock, for herself, the day she started preschool. Lovely story about Layne’s gift to you.)


My heart just melted. I have a picture of my dad and his first grand bubby that is very similar to this, beard and all, and the love, emotion, joy, pride and thankfulness is so obvious you can’t help but be touched. Got to work on havin’ me some babies ;)


Dana I LOVE that picture.
There’s so much contrast between the grandfather and the baby and it shows the spectrum of life. thank you for sharing this!


Your corner looks lovely. I like the story you have made up about the photograph, and the sweet story about the rock gift is touching.


Love the photo and this little nook…so great and meaningful!


I agree this corner of the house looks very special and that photograph is precious :) Happy Belated Birthday!


Are you coming back to blog world/social media? I miss reading your posts.


Oh my goodness this brought tears to my eyes all. Believe it or not this is my daughter , this picture was taken in 2006 in marana A-Z in a tire shop .. true story and better yet an even funny story how this picture ended up happening.. My daughter is now 12 years old . if anyone has questions please feel free to email me atalemommy06@gmail.com.. this is so heart warming to see .